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The COVID-19 pandemic lasted almost four years and has tremendously impacted the U.S. and global economies. The early days of the pandemic sent the U.S. economy into a recession in February 2020. The U.S. economy, as measured by actual gross domestic product (GDP), fell by about 32% in the second quarter of 2020. The U.S. unemployment rate rose as high as 14.7% in April 2020 — the highest since the Great Depression.
To respond to the economic crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. government enacted a number of policies to provide fiscal stimulus to the economy and financial relief to those affected. This article will tackle the updates to one of the largest policies enacted — the SSI stimulus checks.
Understanding SSI Stimulus Checks
A stimulus check is a direct payment made to individual taxpayers by paper check or direct deposit. The payment is made by the U.S. government to qualified individuals during times of economic distress in order to stimulate the economy.
On March 27, 2020, federal lawmakers passed the CARES Act, which included a $2 trillion economic stimulus package that sent most Americans stimulus checks of up to $1,200 as a way to put money directly into the pockets of families and individuals struggling with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
SSI Stimulus Check Update
Within weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed a massive emergency relief package. The legislation included "economic impact payment" checks of up to $1,200 per eligible adult. There have been three rounds of such checks, referred to as "stimulus checks," with additional payments of up to $600 and $1,400 per person in 2021.
However, with skyrocketing groceries, utilities, and gas prices caused by massive inflation rates, many Americans are now struggling to make ends meet. Russia's invasion of Ukraine only made things worse, and the majority of Americans are now desperate for some help from the government through a potential fourth SSI stimulus check.
Stimulus Payments In The Inflation Reduction Act
Since the price of necessities like shelter and food has risen by 8.5% year on year, and the inflation rate is at its highest in about 40 years, many state governments in the United States are cutting checks to help their residents cover basic living expenses. President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law on August 16, 2022, to reduce inflation and provide financial assistance to low-income families, senior citizens, and small businesses via inflation stimulus checks.
Inflation stimulus checks are relief funds set aside to help people cope with the high costs of groceries, gas, utilities, and prescription medication. These stimulus payments are expected to be handed out in 17 states.
4th Stimulus Check To Deal With Inflation Pressures, 2022
The Senior Citizens League, a non-partisan advocacy group, has demanded that the government issue a one-time $1,400 stimulus check to Social Security recipients. This is due to the ever-increasing cost of living, groceries, and steep gas prices as a result of record-high inflation rates.
Though the three rounds of COVID stimulus checks kept many households afloat during the worst stages of the pandemic, Congress is unlikely to approve another round to help ease the effects of inflation among American citizens. However, despite the little immediate relief provided by the federal government to respond to record inflation, 19 states have approved legislation to get tax rebates flowing to their residents.
- Alaska: $3,200 payments
- California: Up to $1,050 rebate
- Colorado: $750 rebate
- Delaware: $300 rebate payments
- Florida: $450 payments
- Georgia: $250 rebate
- Hawaii: $300 payments
- Idaho: $75 rebate payments
- Illinois: $50 and $300 rebates
- Indiana: $325 rebate
- Maine: $850 stimulus check
- Massachusetts: 14% tax rebates
- Minnesota: $488 payments for frontline workers
- New Jersey: $500 Rebate Checks
- New Mexico: $500 Rebate Checks
- Oregon: $600 stimulus check
- Rhode Island: $250 rebate per child
- South Carolina: rebate checks of up to $800
- Virginia: $250 rebates
3rd Stimulus Check (COVID Relief Package)
President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act on March 11, 2021, which includes a third round of stimulus checks for continued COVID-19 relief. The payments are an advance on a temporary credit for 2021, which you will claim when you filed your taxes in 2022.
The payment is worth up to $1,400 for each eligible adult and each qualifying dependent in a household. For example, a family of four would receive up to $5,600.
2nd $600 Stimulus Check Details
On December 21, 2020, Congress passed a new $900 billion economic stimulus bill to help families who are still struggling financially as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to expanded unemployment benefits and funding to assist renters facing eviction, the bill will provide eligible individuals and families with economic impact payments, also known as stimulus checks.
The maximum amount available for this second round of stimulus payments is $600 for any eligible individual or $1,200 for any eligible couple filing jointly. A family of four would receive $600 for each eligible dependent, for a total of $2,400.
1st Stimulus Check (Economic Impact) Payment, 2020
Congress and President Trump passed a broad, bipartisan $2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill on April 1, 2020, aimed at combating COVID-19's nationwide financial and economic impact. This legislation includes sending $1,200 checks to many Americans, increasing funding for unemployment benefits, and offering small businesses money to pay their employees, among other things.
The law aims to address the wide-ranging financial impact of the shut-down of most nations to deter the spread of the COVID-19 virus through the provision of the following:
- Unemployment Benefits. People who lost their jobs due to the pandemic will be eligible for an additional $600 per week. This is on top of what they already qualify for in unemployment benefits from the state.
- Stimulus Checks. Individuals earning less than $75,000 per year will receive a one-time payment of $1,200, while children will receive $500.
The United States government approved the CARES Act in March 2020 to provide millions of Americans with stimulus check payments to alleviate economic hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Among other provisions, this legislation specified the provision of SSI stimulus checks via specified tax rebates of $1,200 per adult and $500 per qualifying child.
In December 2020, the second round of $600 stimulus checks was distributed. The American Rescue Plan Act was then signed in March 2021. Direct SSI stimulus check payments of $1,400 were given to people earning $75,000 or less per year.
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